Nintendo of America's President Refers to Mario Game Deadlines as a 'Celebration'
Nintendo has switched (pun intended) up its business strategy lately, at least with certain games, and many people have taken notice. It started with the 35th anniversary of the Mario series and the announcement of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which has a purchase-by-deadline of March 31st, 2021. After this date, the game will no longer be available for sale either digitally or physically. Naturally, this strategy creates a high amount of demand for the game (and a high amount of FOMO), but it also sets a bad precedent for game preservation and people who simply don't own a Switch right now.
This deadline has since appeared on other titles, such as Super Mario Bros. 35 and the re-release of the first Fire Emblem game. So what gives? Nintendo had previously been completely silent about the new strategy, but in a recent interview with Polygon, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser offered up an explanation for why exactly this is being done. As he puts it, it's a "celebration" of Mario's anniversary. "Yeah, I think I use a simple word: celebration," Bowser stated. "It just - this is a celebration of Mario's 35th anniversary. And we wanted to celebrate in unique and different ways, and we've done that through games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, or we will be doing that through future releases, such as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury."
Bowser goes on to explain that consumers have been "able to jump in and enjoy that", though the deadline isn't a strategy they plan to use widely. Still, why would the deadline be in place for something like Fire Emblem when it's all about a celebration of Mario's anniversary? Weirdly enough, Bowser implied that this is because of Fire Emblem's 30th anniversary which runs "through March 2021", the same anniversary explanation as Mario's games. While it's not known how accurate this reasoning is, it also lines up with the end of Nintendo's fiscal year. Either way, these deadlines mean you'll want to buy these games as soon as you can before they're completely unavailable after the fact. No plans to re-sell them after March 31st have been given by Nintendo, so it's not known if that will happen in any other capacity.
In any case, you'll want to check out Doug Bowser's full interview on Polygon for all his comments on this and more as he takes a look back at Nintendo's year during the 2020 pandemic. There's a lot of interesting info to be found there! If you want to check out both Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, they're both currently on the Switch eShop. The former is also available at select retailers. Let's hope wherever this situation unfolds, it leads to other ways to acquire these games (preferably ways that don't involve scalpers). The aforementioned Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury made a recent appearance at the Game Awards 2020 show, though no new information has been offered about it just yet.